‘It was like a tsunami,’ said Victoria resident
Carolyn Fry and her husband Dwight were looking up towards Beaver Pond from their home on King’s Road in Victoria when they saw what Carolyn describes as a huge wave of muddy water coming towards their house. It was shortly after 2 p.m. on Sept. 21 when Igor had become unchained and let loose on the Avalon Peninsula.
In less than 10 minutes their home was completely surrounded by water and everything outside was now submerged under two feet of water.
“It was unreal, it was unbelievable, it was like a nightmare,” Carolyn Fry told The Compass. It was like a tsunami. It was like a movie, and it was scary.”
The Victoria Town Council offered to evacuate the Frys, but they opted to remain in their home, keeping an all-night vigil on the water, which had crept precariously close to the bottom of their floor joists in the crawl space below.
Carolyn Fry believes something farther up the pond must have broken loose all of a sudden for such a volume of water to have come down the brook that quickly.
Mayor Arthur Burke said King’s Road was among the hardest hit areas of town, after Beaver Pond overflowed its banks sending a huge torrent of water down the brook, threatening to take out a bridge, which takes King’s Road over the brook.
The Dean family, who live next to the Frys, were evacuated and the bridge itself was closed to all traffic.
“ We were scared we were going to lose the bridge,” Mayor Burke said.
Twenty-four hours after the Sept. 21 storm, the mayor said the water had receded quite a bit. “ We’ll wait till it goes down some more before taking a closer look at the bridge to see if there is any structural damage,” he said.
In another area of town, Snook’s Hill and Rattle’s Hill, towards the Heart’s Content barrens, Igor washed silt and debris into the sewer lines, “ blocking everything up.”
Burke said special vacuum equipment had to be brought in from out of town to suck out the lines and restore sewer services to between 15 and 20 homes in that area.
He said roads were washed out in the Swansea area west of town. He said they had to make some temporary repairs to the roads in that area to allow the people to get back and forth to their homes.
In all he estimated there were five or six roads that needed repairs with temporary fill.
The high winds that accompanied the rain damaged the boardwalk on Powerhouse Road in the town’s Heritage Park. That will have to be replaced.
He said they hadn’t had a chance to check the condition of Murphy’s Road, which leads to the town’s screen house and chlorination system at Rocky Pond.
Other than that, Burke said Victoria escaped without too much damage to its infrastructure. He suggested the town’s “natural drainage does a good job in handling the water and we get away without too much damage.”
He acknowledged there are some areas of town where f looding occurred, where they may have to look at increasing the size of some culverts to help correct some of the problems. That will be one of the things they will point out to Municipal Affairs officials when they come to town to evaluate the damage.
Other than the damage to town infrastructure, on a personal level, Burke noted there were a tremendous number of flooded basements around town. The town’s volunteer fire department was kept busy all day until two the next morning pumping out basements, the mayor said, adding, “ they did an outstanding job.”
While Igor left more damage than Tropical Storm Chantal, Burke concluded the damage to his town “ was not nearly as bad as some other towns on the island.”